Q: Hi, Richard! I love your site and videos! Would you mind telling me how to learn to pronounce the kanji? Even if I know what they mean, I’m still in trouble if I can’t pronounce them! My problem is that there seems to be so many different ways of doing that. I’ve heard of the kun-yomi and on-yomi readings, and I have a few resources to help me learn, but I still find them confusing. For example, I have heard that you pronounce the kanji for “fire” 火 as, “ka,” according to one of my sources. (The excellent Mangajin magazines.) However, the Kanji de Manga book I have lists, “hi,” “bi,” and “ka” as being possible pronunciations. Huh?! How do I know which one to use? I’d appreciate any advice you could give. I would love to be able to read Japanese, especially because I’m sure it would help me learn to speak it better, but I don’t think I’m going to get too far if I can’t figure out the kanji! Thanks for your help! –Emily
A: Let’s take an English word, let’s say, “read”. Now, how did you read that word? Would you have read it any differently this time? So to re-ask your question, how do you know which one to use in English?
Subscribe via email & get my FREE eBook: